Back to school: Tips for a healthy return

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Backpack? Check. Pencils? Check. But what about that trip to the doctor's office? Your back-to-school checklist might not be complete without that annual visit.

Dr. Sapna Prabhakaran, a pediatrician, recommends parents bring in their children's vaccine cards to make sure the kids are up to date on their vaccines, and to also bring in any paperwork if their child was hospitalized in the past year. Not all hospitals are linked, so that makes the process go more smoothly.

Prabhakaran says if a child is due for a shot, try first prepping them at home. She says let the child know about the shot on short notice and remind them that it's intended to keep them healthy.

Using the five "R's" every day are beneficial tools for early education. Those include read together and talk to each other; rhyme, cuddle and play; establish routines around eating, playing and sleeping; build relationships that are reciprocal and nurturing; and reward good behavior.

Doctor's offices are usually their busiest about one to two weeks before the start of school. So Prabhakaran suggests parents make an appointment as soon as possible if they haven't yet.

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